Type of plant: A tall herb growing to 5 feet in height, with dark leaves and long stems with flower heads comprising many small white flowers with a pink tinge
Part used: Roots
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: Valerian roots are quite thick, and when removed from the ground they appear as bundles of rope. This is an herb that was once considered magical, probably because of its hypnotic properties. There are many different varieties of valerian in the world, all of which appear to be sedative to some degree. Valerian is used in homeopathic as well as in herbal medicine.
Principal places of production: France, Croatia, Hungary, China, India
When buying look for: A pale-yellow to dark-yellow liquid with a warm, musty, earthy, balsamic aroma
Therapeutic properties: Antimicrobial, antispasmodic, calmative, depurative, diuretic, hypnotic, nervine, sedative, soporific, stomachic
Therapeutic uses: Gastrointestinal infections, insomnia, nervousness, stress, tension, tension headache, stress-induced migraine, muscular spasm, cramps, restlessness, inability to relax, restless leg, trembling disorders, pimples, acne, problematic skin
Blends well with: Amyris, basil linalol, bergamot, cananga, cedarwood, chamomile german, chamomile roman, clary sage, coriander seed, geranium, ginger lily root, hop, ho wood, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, linden blossom, magnolia flower, magnolia leaf, mandarin, orange (sweet), petitgrain, rose absolute, sandalwood, spikenard, tangerine, vetiver, ylang ylang
Precautionary advice: Avoid if taking sedatives or antidepressant medication. Best avoided during pregnancy and while breast-feeding.